Sydney and Auckland are among the new international destinations that Virgin Atlantic hopes to fly as part of plans to significantly increase its long haul route network from London Heathrow Airport.

Virgin Atlantic has just released a map pinpointing up to 84 new destinations it intends to fly to when the third runway at Heathrow is complete.

This would be a massive fourfold increase on its 19 long haul destinations from Heathrow in 2020.

Their ambitious plans also call for an end the so-called “stranglehold” of International Airlines Group (IAG) over the airport.


IAG, which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia currently holds more than half the Heathrow slots.

Virgin Atlantic said it wanted to offer more choice for customers, but could only do this the if the Government reforms the way new Heathrow slots are allocated to enable the creation of a second flag carrier at the airport.

New destinations put forward by the Virgin Atlantic include unserved destinations such as Kolkata (India), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Panama City (Panama), where passengers currently cannot travel non-stop.

They also want to add 37 European routes, including Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid, and serve a wider range of domestic routes including Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.


Image: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic said IAG and its joint venture partners operate 77 “monopoly routes” which “force customers to fly on their planes as no rival direct services exist”.

“Virgin Atlantic intends to compete on 25 routes where there is an IAG monopoly,” the airline said in a statement.

“The third runway is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the status quo and create a second flag carrier”.

“This would lower fares and give real choice to passengers, as well giving Britain a real opportunity to boost its trade and investment links around the world”.